Rangers spend night on Dix with injured hiker

Forest rangers and local emergency crews spent Sunday night in the woods with an injured hiker on Dix Mountain.

According to state Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Dave Winchell, dispatchers in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker near the summit of Dix Mountain at 4:45 p.m. Sunday.

According to the DEC, Dragana Drobnjaki, 28, of Princeton, N.J., tripped while descending from the summit on the Blue Trail in the Dix Mountain Wilderness. Due to the injury, she was unable to bear any weight on her leg and could not move.

In response to the situation, six forest rangers and the Keene Valley Backcountry Rescue team went into the woods expecting a long carry out. She was about 7 miles from the nearest trailhead.

The rescuers reached Drobnjaki at about 11:25 p.m. and splinted her leg. They worked for a few hours to descend a short distance and decided to wait until daylight.

However, at dawn the skies cleared and a state police helicopter, with a forest ranger operating the hoist, was able to retrieve Drobnjaki at about 8:40 a.m. Monday. She was then transported to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, where she was treated.

The rescue was one of three in the High Peaks region in the past week.

Last Thursday, forest rangers also rescued a missing hiker on Whiteface Mountain. That afternoon, a group of people had hiked up the east side of Whiteface Mountain from Whiteface Landing – located on the shore of Lake Placid.

Upon reaching the summit, group members realized that a 15 year-old male member of their party from Madison, Wisc. was missing. They reported the incident to 911.

Four forest rangers responded, searching the hiking trails on Whiteface Mountain. A state police helicopter, with a forest ranger on board as a spotter, also joined the search effort.

At 7:35 p.m., the young man was located by forest rangers in good health. He did not have food, water, a map or a compass and was wearing running clothes and sneakers. Forest Rangers returned the young man to his group at the Lake Placid boat launch.

The next day, a forest ranger and assistant forest ranger assisted 61-year-old Gerald Mohn, of Uniontown, Ohio, in getting off Mount Marcy. Mohn had injured his ankle the previous day, and it became troublesome while he was descending Marcy.

In response, the DEC sent an assistant forest ranger to the injured man while a forest ranger responded on a UTV to the Marcy Dam Outpost and proceeded on foot from there.

The injured man was near Lake Arnold when the assistant forest ranger and forest ranger met up with him. The two assisted in walking Mohn to Marcy Dam where he was transported by UTV to Adirondak Loj. Mohn told the forest rangers he would receive additional medical attention on his own.